Monday, 30 January 2017

Asian Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Soup this time of year warms you from the inside out.  This has a different take to it with Asian inspired flavours.

8 cups chicken stock
20 mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp chili oil
1 skinless chicken breast, boned, poached, and shredded
3 cups sliced bok choy
4 tsp rice vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
2 green onions, sliced

  • Bring broth, mushrooms and ginger to a boil in a large pot.  Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  • Add fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil; simmer 2 minutes.  Add chicken and bok choy; simmer until bok choy is tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in rice vinegar.  Season with pepper.
  • Ladle soup into bowl.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Carrot, Cranberry and Gouda Salad

Great colour and flavour in this simple salad.

1/2 cup toasted Hazelnuts, chopped
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 to 8 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
150 g Herbed Gouda, cut into small cubes (this is easily substituted with a smoked cheese of your choice or a nice strong cheddar)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
Freshly ground pepper

  • In a large bowl, mix oil with vinegar.
  • Add Hazelnuts and remaining ingredients, season with pepper and serve

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Roasted Red Pepper Bites

This is a really yummy appetizer!

1 x 227 g Roasted Red Pepper Dip
4 links ground sausage meat approx 400g - your flavour choice, cooked and crumbled
1 x 170 g pkg bread stuffing, cooked

  • In a large mixing bowl combine Roasted Red Pepper Dip, sausage, and stuffing.  
  • Form mixture into small 2” diameter balls and place on baking sheet
  • Bake in a 350F oven about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  • Remove from oven and serve warm with toothpicks and extra dip for dipping

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Tossed Salad with Harvest Nuts and Cranberries

This is a great festive salad that works well with any holiday dinner.  The cranberries add tart flavour that complements the sweetness of the chopped nuts.  From Food and Drink Holiday 2016

1/2 cup each of pine nuts, coarsely chopped hazelnuts, sliced or slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp hot smoked or regular paprika
1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries

12 to 16 cups mixed salad greens
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
Several grindings of black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.  Mix olive oil with maple syrup, brown sugar, salt and paprika in a small saucepan; place over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until hot but not boiling.
  • Pour hot mixture over nuts and seeds; toss until coated.  Turn out onto parchment-paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet; spread out in a thin layer.  Bake 10 minutes, then stir and spread out again. Bake another 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with cranberries; cool.
  • Break up fruit and nut mixture into small clusters; store sealed in canning jars.  Mixture keeps well for a month if stored airtight.
  • When ready to serve, place greens in a large salad bowl.  Whisk oil with vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper.  Drizzle vinaigrette over salad to taste; toss.  Sprinkle with some nut mixture; serve right away.  Any remaining vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator.
Serves 8 to 10

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Chinese Seasoned Chicken Kabobs

We BBQ year round!  This is a nicely flavoured kabob that does well if marinated for the day but it is acceptable at 30 minutes as well.  This recipe was adapted from Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

675 g boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Peppers (red or yellow), cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
Half sweet onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp coriander seeds
4 tsp black peppercorns
4 dried hot peppers
3 cloves garlic, smashed
8 slices fresh ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil

MARINADE:  In small skillet, heat oil over medium low heat; fry coriander seeds, peppercorns and hot peppers until hot peppers darken.  Add garlic and ginger; fry until garlic turns golden.  Strain oil through fine sieve into large heatproof bowl; discard solids.  Let cool until warm.  Whisk in soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil.

Toss together marinade, chicken, peppers and pinion until coated.  Marinate for 30 minutes or covered and refrigerated up to 12 hours.

Alternately thread chicken, peppers and onion onto skewers.  Grill, covered, on greased grill over medium high heat until chicken is no longer pink inside, about 12 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 main course servings

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Almond Pound Cake

This is a wonderful moist pound cake.  I made this for my Grandmothers 101st birthday and it went over really well.

250 g butter
600 g sugar
6 eggs
240 g pastry flour
3 tbsp almond flavouring

Beat butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Fold in flour and flavouring.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in 350F oven.  Bake in an angel food pan.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Cauliflower Risotto with Seafood

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable that can complement other flavours.  This is a healthy dinner that tastes decadent. Based on a recipe from Food and Drink Holiday 2015.

3 tbsp butter, diced
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 large head cauliflower, leaves removed
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp dried chili flakes or to taste
175 g scallops, diced
175 g shrimp, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 cups sliced baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Heat 1 tbsp butter in small pan over medium heat, reserving remainder.  Add bread crumbs and cook stirring occasionally, until bread crumbs are toasted, about 5 minutes.  Reserve
  • Core the cauliflower.  Break off the florets into small, evenly sized pieces.  Chop into small pieces about the size of peas.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté for a minute or until beginning to soften.  Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.  Increase heat to medium high and add cauliflower, thyme and chili flakes.  Continue to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until cauliflower begins to brown.  Stir in scallops and shrimp.
  • Add 1/4 cup stock and stir until it is absorbed, about 2 minutes.  If cauliflower is not yet tender, add remaining stock.  Add spinach and cook until spinach has wilted.  SEason well with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in remaining butter until absorbed and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Cheddar Stuffed Chicken

A festive take on turkey with all the wonderful flavours of the holidays.  The recipe called for turkey breast which I wasn’t able to find so I used individual chicken breasts.

1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
800 g boneless skinless Chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground pepper
250 ground chicken
120 g Old Cheddar, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, divided
30 ml vodka
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp maple syrup

  • In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and cook onion and garlic for 5 min. Remove from heat and place half the mixture in a large bowl for stuffing; let cool.
  • Meanwhile, cut chicken breast horizontally without cutting all the way through, and open like a book and season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Add ground chicken, cheese and 1/2 cup cranberries to the bowl of onion and garlic.  Season generously with salt and pepper, and stir well.
  • Place stuffing on bottom half of the breast.  Roll up from bottom to the top to seal in the stuffing and secure with toothpicks.  Transfer to a baking dish and cook for 1 hour 15 min.
  • Return the saucepan with remaining onion and garlic to the stove over medium high heat and deglaze with vodka.
  • Add remaining cranberries, juice, orange zest, red pepper flakes and maple syrup.  Cover and simmer on medium heat for 10 min or until cranberries are tender.  Puree using an upright blender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste; keep warm.
  • Slice stuffed chicken breast and serve with the sauce.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Chicken Bacon Brochettes

Because bacon makes everything better! This recipe is from Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp malt vinegar or other vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
450 g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into twelve 1 1/2 inch cubes
12 large mushrooms
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
4 slices bacon, cut into thirds
4 green onions, cut into thirds

  • Mix together half of the oil, the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and pepper; toss with chicken until coated.  Marinate for 20 minutes
  • Meanwhile, toss together mushrooms, remaining oil, lemon juice and salt; let stand for 20 minutes.  Reserving remaining marinade, wrap each chicken cube in bacon; thread onto skewers alternately with mushrooms and green onions.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat for 5 minutes.  Turn and brush with marinade.  Grill until chicken is no longer pink inside, 5 to 7 minutes.
Makes 4 main course servings.